melody

In any musical composition, there is a dominant line that creates a tone pattern known as the piece's melody. There are specific rules for the musical composition of a melody, and most fall into regular patterns.

The ancient Greek word melōidía was used to denote a tune for lyric poetry. It was derived from melos, which meant "song." In most songs, the melody follows a logical, mathematical pattern that creates a memorable line of notes. The word suggests a beautiful and pleasant sound, as was celebrated in the 1946 Irving Berlin lyrics, "A pretty girl is like a melody that haunts you night and day."

DEFINITIONS OF: melody

1

n a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence

Synonyms:
air, line, melodic line, melodic phrase, strain, tune
Types:
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fanfare, flourish, tucket
(music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
glissando
a rapid series of ascending or descending notes on the musical scale
roulade
(music) an elaborate run of several notes sung to one syllable
leitmotif, leitmotiv
a melodic phrase that accompanies the reappearance of a person or situation (as in Wagner's operas)
theme song
a melody that recurs and comes to represent a musical play or movie
signature, signature tune, theme song
a melody used to identify a performer or a dance band or radio/tv program
idea, melodic theme, musical theme, theme
(music) melodic subject of a musical composition
part, voice
the melody carried by a particular voice or instrument in polyphonic music
slide, swoop
(music) rapid sliding up or down the musical scale
motif, motive
a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
statement
(music) the presentation of a musical theme
variation
a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
primo
the principal part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
secondo
the second or lower part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
voice part
a part written for a singer
accompaniment, backup, musical accompaniment, support
a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts
bass, bass part
the lowest part in polyphonic music
Type of:
music
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

n the perception of pleasant arrangements of musical notes

Synonyms:
tonal pattern
Type of:
musical perception
the auditory perception of musical sounds
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